I noticed an envelope taped to our front door as I pulled into our driveway. I couldn’t think of anything I’d done to deserve a thank-you note so I figured it was a note of encouragement from a friend. I didn’t even open the garage door; instead, I parked in the driveway, hopped out of my car, and hurried to the front door to read it.
Imagine my shock when I discovered it was not a note. It was a notice from the neighborhood police, a.k.a the H.O.A. architectural committee. They had stopped by to notify us that our “front porch columns and windowsills needed to be repaired and painted within thirty days” or we’d be fined.
I don’t know which was worse — my frustration or humiliation!
I pictured neighbors sitting around a table talking about us in a homeowners’ meeting while writing other citations for excessive yard debris and inappropriate paint colors.
My husband got home a few minutes later and was greeted by his wife wagging an envelope in her hand, “There are plenty of other house in much worse condition! How could they even see the windowsills and front porch? Our house is forty feet from the curb, and we’ve got huge trees blocking the view!”
To prove my point, I marched to the street and announced that I could barely see the windows or columns. “Our house looks fine!” I insisted.
And it did — from a distance. But as I walked back into our yard and got closer to the porch, I had to admit there were a few window sills with peeling paint and parts of our columns where the wood was damaged.
That weekend, we bought paint and woodwork supplies, borrowed extension ladders, and asked my mom to babysit. Unfortunately, the damage was worse than we realized. What we thought would take a few hours turned into a few weekends of scraping, sanding, caulking, hammering, priming, and painting.
On our last day of repairs, I was thankful someone had noticed the problems we didn’t see. If the damage had been left unchecked, we would have ended up with more extensive repairs and expensive replacements.
I was no longer angry at whoever left that envelope on our door. Instead, I was glad they cared enough to get up close and personal, to notice and tell us something we didn’t want to hear.
And so it is with Jesus. He sees the places in my heart and in my life that need repair. He cares enough to come up close and get uncomfortably personal at times, showing me things I don’t want to see about myself or my relationships — all because He loves me and wants what is best for me.
But He doesn’t just list out all the repairs I need to make. He offers what I need, to do what is needed: grace, forgiveness, mercy, love, patience, humility, and so much more.
It can feel really uncomfortable to be known so intimately, but it can also be comforting when we recognize the love that motivates God’s nudges and love notes found in scripture.
Is there an area in your life that’s been neglected? A relationship that needs repair, a conversation you’ve avoided because it requires work? Don’t let it get worse just because it’s hard.
You’ve got an up close and personal Savior who sees, knows, and loves you too much to just let things go until they fall apart. He sees what you can’t and offers all the help you need for repairs, renovations, and complete transformations.
Needing Him with you,